I recently had a chance to speak to Don Charles, the head trainer of current heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora. A variety of topics were discussed in this interview including, Don’s entrance into the sport and becoming Dereck Chisora’s trainer, the upcoming rematch between Chisora and Tyson Fury. Lastly, Don Charles responds to Peter Fury’s recent statements about Dereck Chisora. Here is what Don Charles had to say in part 1 of his interview.
Robert Brown: How did you get involved with boxing?
Don Charles: I was a former amateur boxer, in the 80’s. I boxed for a club in South London, Brixton ABC, I had 13 amateur fights, won 10 of those and lost 3. I retired from amateur boxing when I was about 28 and I had to choose whether to turn professional or go back into business — I had a couple of little businesses I was running. Being an African man, I decided to build a business route. So that’s basically what I did.
I was out of boxing for about 10 years, I didn’t have any boxing in my life after I retired, and I became quite miserable and something told me that I needed to be involved in boxing in some capacity, hence why I took up coaching.
Robert Brown: How did your relationship with Dereck Chisora start?
Don Charles: It was a pure accident when I bumped into the young man in the area that we lived, in North London . Just coincidently one Sunday afternoon I was driving and I went into a petrol station to put some petrol in my car and a friend of mine noticed Dereck was wearing a boxing t-shirt with a boxing club on it.
My friend asked him if he was a boxer and he said yes. My friend said to him, “If you want somebody to help you to become very good, you need to talk to that guy over there,” that guy was me. I spoke to Dereck and he acknowledged that he had just started boxing, he’d only had about 8 amateur fights at that point. We exchanged numbers and the rest is history.
Robert Brown: Dereck has the big rematch with Tyson Fury coming up on July 26th. What are your thoughts on the fight coming up?
Don Charles: As you know, Tyson already has a victory over Chisora. We are doing everything humanly possible to be victorious on the 26th of July. The question is, since Fury has that victory over us, I believe Dereck has gone on to do better things in boxing. Fury has almost gone in reverse gear, that’s the way we look at it.
Dereck has gone on to do better things — yes, we’ve lost a few fights after that, but the caliber of the opponents we have faced are for more greater that those of Fury. Dereck is the current European champion, current WBO, current WBA international champion, he holds three belts.
Ironically, the belts that Fury won from Dereck, the British commonwealth title — I asked the question, where are they? He no longer has them. He’s still undefeated but he has no belts for us, he’s now coming again to challenge for the belt that we’ve won. He’s kind of gone in reverse gear in my opinion.
Robert Brown: I recently spoke to Tyson’s trainer, Peter Fury and he said Chisora is a good domestic fighter but he’s not at world level. How do you respond to that?
Don Charles: Well basically that’s an insult and we’re gonna make them eat those words back. When they say ‘world level’ as long as we’re all living in the same world, this world that we’re living.
He’s saying that Dereck is not a world class operator. Mr. Fury and Tyson Fury, they haven’t operated at the level that we have operated on. We have fought on the for the WBC world heavyweight title against Vitali Klitschko, we didn’t win but Dereck gave a very good account of himself.
Dereck is the current European champion and he would have been the European champion three years ago had we not been denied a victory against Robert Helenius — who prior to fighting Chisora was being touted as the next best thing, the heir to the Klitschko’s.
If Mr. Fury is saying that Dereck Chisora is not a world level operator, we’ll demonstrate. When we beat him I’d like to ask Mr. Fury if Chisora is a domestic level fighter, I’m gonna remind him. Mr. Fury himself, the trainer, who has he trained prior to Tyson Fury? All these factors here is what is gonna come back and bite him in the bottom on the night. They haven’t been where we have been, they haven’t.
Robert Brown: Do you think Chisora’s experiences against Vitali Klitschko, David Haye and Robert Helenius will hold him in good stead against Fury?
Don Charles: Yes, I really strongly believe that what we’ve done — whether we’ve won or whether we’ve lost — they’re all experiences, some of the are good, some of them are bad but guess what? We’ve learned from those experiences, we’re going to draw from those experiences.
These characters, the Fury’s, they haven’t done that. They’ve avoided certain fights — he said he would fight anybody, that’s his claim but he avoided David Price. He dropped his belts instead of fighting David Price, just to protect that unbeaten record. That’s what they were interested in, protecting their unbeaten record to fly him into contention to get a world title shot.
Why do they need to fight us? They don’t need to fight us. They need what we’ve got, they need Dereck Chisora, not the other way around. We don’t need Tyson Fury at this point. I’m glad the fight is happening, the only reason we’re having this fight is because we want to erase that defeat.
Fury beat Chisora on his worst night, he was in his worse physical and mental shape ever. No excuses, he turned up that night, Dereck was unbeaten at that time. Ironically, Fury will suffer his first defeat against the man who he inflicted the first defeat on and that’s Chisora.